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Pagina principale arrow newsitems arrow Strasbourg Region Prefect Marx to EF on European University: Wait FrancoGerman Summit+TransBorder c.

Strasbourg Region Prefect Marx to EF on European University: Wait FrancoGerman Summit+TransBorder c.

Scritto da ACM
venerdì, 02 febbraio 2018
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*Strasbourg/Pefectoral Palace/Angelo Marcopolo/- Replying to an "Eurofora"s Question, during his Press Conference for the New Year 2018, the Prefect of Strasbourg's "Great East" new big Region, Jean-Claude Marx, pointed, concerning a recent query for the eventual Creation of a European University here, at relevant Decisions that might, perhaps, be taken during a forthcoming Franco-German Summit, focused on TransBorder Cooperation and Integration at EU's core, which is expected during the 1st Semester of 2018.

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The creation of a European University was strongly Supported recently by the New President of Strasbourg's University, Professor Michel Deneken, while speaking with Journalists, including "Eurofora", at an Annual Event organized Previously this Week, in the Historic University Palace by the City's Press Club.


strasbourg_universitys_president_michel_deneken__agg_press_club_annual_2018_event_university_palace_eurofora_400


+ In addition, Strasbourg University's President told "Eurofora" that he was Interested to a Parallel Project, recently presented by the New CoE Assembly's President Michele Nicholetti, to establish PanEuropean Inter-University Networks for Studies and Research on COE's Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law-related Conventions (including BioEthics, etc : Comp. relevant statement by PACE President Nicoletti to "Eurofora" at ..), and looked forward to Meeting with him asap.

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minister_vidal_visits_deneken_dna

 (Minister Vidal + University President Deneken - DNA)


Deneken had just met, Earlier that Same Day (Monday Morning/Noon), with the New French Minister for Education, Universities and Scientific Research, Mrs Frederique Vidal, who discussed, during her visit, mainly Issues related to "Innovation Campus" and "Excellence" projects, funded by the National Government.

 education_minister_fvidal_in_strasbourg_ab_photo_400
(Minister Vidal at UniStra - AB's Photo)
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In Recent Years, (since 2016), German, French and Swiss Universities of the "Superior Rhine" river TransBorder "Euro-Region", have Established Together a Pioneer "European Campus", which, as its President, Professor Hans-Jochen Schiewer, Dean of nearby Freiburg University (Germany), replied to an "Eurofora"s Question mainly by stressing that this was a 1st Step, "Test" and Example towards concrete Integration at EU's Core.


But the then President of Strasbourg's University in France, Alain Beretz, (currently Director of Innovation/Research at the Education Ministry), had made it clear to "Eurofora" that the move concerned, at least for the Time being, much more the creation of "Links between Infrastructures" for Higher Education and/or Research between the adjacent Border Regions of the 3 Countries, including the possibility to get National or EU Funds for Joint Research Projects, etc.


(Comp. also EU Commissioner for Science, Research and Innovation, Carlos Moedas' Statements to "Eurofora", at that occasion : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/eusciencecomissioneronchinaandeuuniversitiesgroup.html + ...).


However, already, World-Famous Sismology Professor Michel Granet, former Vice-President for Research at Strasbourg's University and Director of the Institute on Earth's Physics, had agreed with "Eurofora", in the Context of a Press Conference on his Report for the Scientific Research Policy in Strasbourg's Region Alsace, prepared at the request of the French National Government, as Early as since the End of 2012, that a Logical and desirable Horizon for the foreseable Future would be, indeed, the progressive Creation of a Franco-Germano-Swiss University, due to evolve also at a Wider EU scope. And he observed that, among others, it's also Strasbourg's Region which appeared interested in such a possibility, (particularly on "lato sensu" Earth/Environment Science/Technologies, including Law/Politics/Economy, Philosophy/Religion, etc, according to an original Definition, used since 2005 by the European Foundation of Science, HeadQuartered in Strasbourg).


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strasbourgs_prefectoral_palace_eurofora_400 

 

=> - Thus, during Today's Press Conference's Question Time, "Eurofora" asked Prefect Jean-Claude Marx, what he thought about such various, but converging, Thoughts to Advance, from a "Euro-Campus", towards the eventual Creation of a "European University" in Strasbourg, naturally Based mainly on Franco-German Cooperation, in the foreseable Future.

 

And, by the way, What were the current Prospects for the Further Development of the Recently Established "Euro-Campus", initially between French-German-Swiss Regions of the "Superior Rhine", (which, naturally, might usefully serve as an important 1st Step towards the above-mentioned, Deeper and Wider Idea : Comp. Supra).

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strasbourggreat_east_regions_prefect_marx_replying_to_agg_question_at_press_conf_near_eurofora_400


 - Prefect Marx, in his Reply to this prospective Question by "Eurofora", significantly, did Not Deny such an eventual possibility in he foreseable Future, at least not a priori.


 - "Your Question is obviously Related mainly with the Cooperation between Neighbouring Countries, and particularly with the TransBorder Cooperation among adjacent Regions, observed in substance the Prefect of Strasbourg's New and much Bigger than in the Past, "Great East" Region : I.e. "the Only Area in Europe to have a Quadrilateral Border", (Nowadays, Both with Germany and Switzerland, as well as with Luxembourg and Belgium, thus Bringing Together 5 core European Countries, including France), as stresses an official Press File, (to which pointed Marx at this occasion).


 + Adding that this Fact gives to Strasbourg's new Region "a Vocation to become a Laboratory for European Territorial Cooperation, But Alsoo a Model of Regional Integration", (i.e. with Deeper Links).


-  Among the essentual issues on which such a TransBorder Cooperation can evolve, "is, indeed, included the Higher Education", (i.e. Universities), Prefect Marx, carefully but positively observed in Reply to "Eurofora"s above-mentioned Question.


 - He also revealed that, during the recent 3 Visits of new French President Macron in Strasbourg's Region, where he had several Contacts, including, particularly, by meeting the New German President Steinmeier, near Basel, in the framework of an Event for the Commemoration of the 100th Anniversary since the 1st World War, with the Symbolic and Practical Creation of a Joint, Franco-German History Museum, for the 1st Time, (See: ..., + Comp.: ..., etc), issues related to Higher Education were discussed.


 - "Such a Trans-Border Cooperation on Universities can take Various Forms", including, f.ex., particularly "in the Development of Language-learning", in German and French, for which, there is a Strong and Widely-shared Wish to Boost it further, he added, in Practical terms.


 - However, naturally, "there are also Many other interesting Areas", for Higher Education Cooperation/Integration, Prefect Marx observed.


 - In this regard, "I refer you to the Franco-German Summit, which has been just anounced for the 1st Semester of 2018", he told "Eufofora" on the above-mentioned issue.


- Because, it seems "Due to be Largely Focused on TransBorder Cooperation", he revealed.


 - As things stand Today, "I think that this is the Best Way to Address Your Question", (even if it doesn't yet give a direct, full and explicit reply, for the Time being), Prefect Marx added in fine, diplomatically, but with openess...


 - Especially when it concerns certain very "Advanced Issues", as that which you raised, for which it's obviously necessary to have the Time to Examine and Discuss seriously, before giving a more concrete and profound Reply, which might not yet be feasible to give immediately Nowadays, he concluded, as far as "Eurofora"s above-mentioned Question is concerned, i.e. (once again) leaving the Future Open.


 In the Press File handed Today to Journalists, including "Eurofora", is also reminded the Fact that, the Pre-Existing situation on TransBorder Cooperation for Strasbourg's New and much Larger "Great East" Region, extends in "2 Areas" : One around the "Big Region", bringing Together France, Luxembourg, Germany and Belgium, (chaired on 2018 by Luxembourg), and anOther around the "Superior Rhine (OberRhein)", which brings Together, France, Germany and Switzerland, (currently Chaired by Germany for 2018).


+ Meanwhile, Prefect Jean-Claude Marx also Ensured that, currently, the still on-going work to Prepare the New, 3 Years-Long : "2018-2020", Agreement between the French State and Strasbourg's Euro-Metropole, as Headquarters for European/PanEuropean Institutions, is "well Advanced" and due to be Concluded "during 2018's First Quarter", (i.e. until the End of March).  


Already in the Previous one, concerning the Period of 2015-2017, which has just Concluded, the "Development of "Euro-Campus" at University level, was clearly included, (Together with the traditional and wider "Strengthening of Strasbourg Region's "European Cultural Appeal").

strasbourgs_prefectoral_palace__interior_eurofora_400 

 

(../..)

 



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  imag0573_400

    An "Eugenic" loophole Amendment, which might expose to Dangers reminiscent of "3rd Reich's" notorious Genetic Abuses, hidden at the last minute inside an otherwise Good, larger Health policy Package scheduled to be voted on Thursday, was strongly denounced by a coalition of MEPs from various Political Groups and Countries, in a Press Conference held this afternoon at EU Parliament in Strasbourg.

    Mainly calling to "Select Human Embryos", via "Genetic Counselling" and "pre-implantation" Techniques including "Genetic Tests", in order to "Eradicate Hereditary rare Diseases", it might open ways to Dangerous Practices in Future, they denounced in substance.

    But they also made it clear that a much larger Report inside which this Controversial Amendment "No 15" was added in dubious circumstances, officialy destinated to struggle against "Rare Diseases", and drafted by Professor Antonios Trakatellis, was otherwise "an Excellent Report", aiming at a "completely Uncontroversial target" of Health policy on which "all MEPs and Experts are united, believing that Europe should act" to protect People's Health (See "EuroFora"'s earlier News).

    The controversy came at a particularly delicate moment for the EU in relation to Citizens, at the eve of June 2009 EU Elections, and shortly before Ireland re-votes for "Lisbon Treaty"..    

- Denouncing risks of "an Eugenic demand, very similar to what we had during the 3rd Reich in Germany, but now coming from some Scientisists themselves", German ChristianDemocrat/EPP MEP Dr. Peter Liese stressed that critical MEPs were against "Eugenic" engineering with "Selection of Human Embryos", and anything which might ultimately lead up to to a "Selection of Human Race". It doesn't help to "eradicate" Human Lives, he added.


    Several Experts and NGOs expressed "Deep Concern", as f;ex. DR M.C. Cornel of the "European Society of Human Genetics", which stressed, on this occasion, that "the importance of Non-Directiveness in Reproductive issues is a Central characteristic of Human Genetics, after the Atrocities committed in the name of Genetics in the first half or the 20th Century".

     - "This is completely Unacceptable", stressed Italian Liberal MEP Vittorio Prodi, on the Controversial Amendment, also because pushes to "eliminate early Human Life", as he noted.

     - "This opens a Dangerous Road, rather a Motorway", denounced Danish MEP Mrs Margrette Auken, from the "Greens", observing that various similar attempts were made in the Past "not only in Germany, but also in several other Countries, "even at the 1970ies", "f.ex. on forced Sterilisation of Roma" People, and other criticisable situations f.ex. in the UK, in Sweden, etc. as she said.

    + Other NGOs, as f.ex. "LebenHilfe" from Berlin, added that, among various other Risks, could also be that, by exploiting the pre-implantation Genetic Diagnostics and the Selection of "healthy" Embryos, some may "propagate" several "Eugenic" aims, starting f.ex. by pushing to eradicate Human Livies which might "Cost too much" to preserve, ultimately exposing to dangers reminiscent of the "3rd Reich"'s atrocious abuses.

    In consequence, ChristianDemocrats/EPP and "Green" MEPs "decided by Majority to vote against" this Controversial Amendment, anounced to Journalists the 5 MEPs who participated in the Press Conference, representing a wide spectrum, from Liberals to "Greens" and ChristianDemocrats, and from Hungary, Italy, Germany and Danemark up to Ireland (Gay Mitchell), etc.
----------------------------------
    Hungarian ChristianDemocrat MEP Laszlo Surjan said "that it was "Suddenly, at the End of the Procedure" in Committee, that "appeared this (Controversial) Amendment, which has nothing to do" with the main purpose of the Report, on which all agreed.

    He denounced an "Unhonest" move, and called to "avoid this kind of unacceptable situations". Nobody should "Select People", Surjan stressed.

    - "We (MEPs) had No Chance to Discuss" this last-minute Amendment earlier added at a Committee's level, said German MEP Peter Liese

    Speaking to "EuroFora", Dr. Liese, the Spokesman of the ChristianDemocrat/EPP Group in EU Parliament, said that MEPs didn't oppose other references of the Report f.ex. on "Genetic Tests", because they were "no proposals" to impose them, while, on the contrary, there was "a Problem" if anyone attempted to "impose" f.ex. this or that Genetic Technique and "Genetic Counselling", etc. to the People on human reproduction.
-------------
The precise Text :
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    Controversial parts of Amendment No 15 ask mainly "to lead finally to the Eradication" of "Hereditary" "rare diseases", "through Genetic Counselling .., and ..pre-Implantation Selection of healthy Embryos".

    But  EU Rapporteur Professor Trakatellis, said to "EuroFora" that fears should be alleviated by Guarantees that all this should be done only "where appropriate", when it's "not contrary to existing National Law", and "always on a Voluntary basis", according to other Parts of the Amendment.

    He stressed that the main aim was to allow "a free and informed choice of persons involved", without imposing them anything :  - "It's not an obligatory, but advisary" text, he said.

    To make that point clear, he was ready, in agreement with many MEPs, to eventually drop at least that part of the controversial Amendment which initially called for "efforts to ..lead finally to the Eradication of those rare diseases" "which are Hereditary".

    But, until late Wednesday evening, reportedly together with many other MEPs, he stood by all the rest of the controversial Amendment, (fex. on the "Genetic Counselling" and the "pre-implantation Selection of healthy Embryos"), so that critical MEPs, going from ChristianDemocrats as Dr. Liese, to "Greens" or "Ind/Dem", observed to "EuroFora" that "this was not enough" to close the dangerous loophole.

    Particularly since, as Professor Trakatellis noted himself, "this is already allowed to the U.K.", and "other National Legislations would probably follow, sooner or later" in a similar direction. As for a general call to "Eradicate Hereditary rare Diseases", this "should happen, at any case, in practice, de facto", to protect public Health.

    On the contrary, "our goal should be to help patients suffering from rare diseases, not to eradicate the patients. In case of genetic disease risk, the decision should not be guided by scenarios" made by politicians. "Perents who may decide to accept a child, even if handicapped or with genetic disease, must be respected and supported with solidarity", critical MEPs stated.

    - "Any Pressure" to "a patient or couple (who "should be able to make an informed choice consistent with their own values"),"from health Professionals, Public Health Policies or Governemental Institutions, or Society at large, should be avoided", stresses the "European Society for Human Genetics".

----------------------------------

Each MEP's vote will be registered !

-----------------------------------   

The Socialist Group requested a "Split vote" on the Amendment 15, first without, and afterwards with the words "lead finally to the Eradication" etc.


    But the first "split vote" leaves intact all the other parts of the Controversial Amendment, (i.e. "Genetic Counselling", "Selection of healthy Embryos", etc).

    That's why, 3 Groups of MEPs : ChristianDemocrats/EPP, "Greens/EFA", and "Ind/Dem", have asked for "Roll Call Votes", on everything regarding the Controversial Amendment No 15, and on the final outcome of the resulting Report as amended, which will register all the individual positions to be taken by each MEP.   

Something which will obviously make each MEP think twice before voting for one or another choice, to be sure that he/she will make the right choice in front of EU Citizens, particularly at these pre-Election times...


    Crucial Votes were scheduled between 12 Noon and 1 p.m. local Strasbourg time, in the middle of a long series of various other Reports, and after a long Public Debate on the larger Health policy package, from 9 to 11.50 am.

    The specific Report inside which was hidden the controversial Amendment is due to be debated between 11 and 12 am.

    So that more last-minute Surprises may not be excluded a priori...

    Particularly at the present Historic moment, when even the Institutional Future of the EU depends on the result of a second Referendum on "Lisbon Treaty", later this year, in ...Ireland, a mainly Catholic country, where People are particularly sensitive in such kind of socio-cultural and values issues...
 

      ***     
 
     (Draft due to be updated).
 
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